Chirac Says EU Constitution Would Put Back Turkey Accession

PARIS (AFX)–President Jacques Chirac said that the adoption of the EU constitution would extend the timeframe for Turkey’s accession into the union.

Chirac’s commen’s came in a letter to the France-based CCAF association of Armenian organizations–and at a time when key proponents of the constitution ramp up efforts to convince the electorate ahead of the referendum on Sunday.

Polls released over the past two weeks have indicated strongly that a vote against the treaty is likely.

Chirac told the CCAF that Turkey ‘still has a long way to go’ in its bid for EU membership–and that this will become even harder under a constitution which will ‘recognize fundamental rights and liberties…and guarantee them to all European citizens.’

The Armenian community in France–some 400,000-strong–has been expected to lean towards a ‘no’ vote as a means to stop Turkey’s accession. Community leaders have insisted that France urge Turkey to acknowledge the Armenian genocide as part of the accession talks.

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